Failed purpose of funder's project requirements

Topic: Sustainable Livelihoods
Central America
Sustainable Livelihoods
Climate Action

problem & solution

The Cooperativa de Producción Agroecológica de Morazán de R.L. (ACOPROAM DE R.L.) won the construction of two greenhouses with funds from IFAD through the government of El Salvador, on the condition that they would grow hydroponic crops.
The problem was that the cooperative wanted to build the greenhouses with agroecological crops, but this was not allowed, because the project was already designed that way.

The solution was to gradually shift to agroecological techniques after the hydroponic project ended. This lowered production costs and provided healthy food. By transforming the soil in an agroecological way there is no more dependency on mineral salts, external substrates, buckets and other expensive material.

The experience

The hydroponic project was accepted with the condition that once the project was finished it would be converted to agroecological crops. But first a hydroponic cultivation of chilli and tomato was managed in buckets with pumice as substrate. The production obtained was enough to cover the expenses and the profit was very little because the costs in mineral salts, water and energy were high.

Transforming to agroecology, first the substrate was changed from buckets and then to direct soil, the change observed was significant in terms of using less irrigation and minerals. Currently these greenhouses are serving as an example for many cooperatives that want to take this step, but for fear of failure do not do so.


Reasons for Failure


  • The funder institution insisted on the hydroponic system.
  • The cooperative did not know and was not convinced about hydroponic crop management.



  • Achieving a gradual transformation of the soil with the application of liquid "mountain micro-organisms", organic fertiliser of the bocashi type

Lessons Learned


  • It is not the funding institutions that should insist on the farming methods to be applied
  • The farmers have to be aware of the importance of agroecological production
Realisation period 2019
Location Municipio de Meanguera, El Salvador
Contact Lucas Argueta

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